Organic farming is nothing new to India, and still, 1.6 million farmers indulge in harvesting chemical-free crops. The total land under cultivation is 159.7 million hectares in India, and 4.34 million hectares of land is under organic harvesting and producing 3.5 million tons of raw produce. India has been moving back to its good days of farming using domestic animals manures or organic fertilizers.
Meanwhile, the trust factor among consumers is still scaring the organic farm owners and agencies. To support the industry with end-to-end traceability solutions, indigenous blockchain firms have started collaborating with farmers and organic product processing agencies to ensure transparency and quality verifications.
The process: Blockchain in organic food
It starts from organic seed production, and it takes one complete season approximately five months, but it varies from crop to crop production. The one organic farm produce cycle takes as much as one year. Within that production procedure, blockchain would register framers, farm agencies, and land mapping entities on a distributed application.
Geo-mapping of farmlands through independent organisations needs to be done through the application. The seed and weed management inputs need to be verified by blockchain-powered solutions.
A Bangalore-based start-up TraceX Technologies has been building a platform to register all the stakeholders and streamlining the below supply chain process:
- Organic seed production
- Organic land for germination
- Use of organic fertilizers
- Procurement of produce
- Processing of raw materials
- Packaging and distribution
Consumers can scan QR codes to verify the end-to-end process and the shelf-life of the product from blockchain-based data.
Organic crop planning
Which season the farmer is sowing the seed and where is the seed coming from, pest management, and weed management; all these activities have been tracked as an independent activity through certified agencies.
“When it comes to organic farming, someone has to gather all the information to verify its originality. These agencies provide individual certification and group certification, and based on these verifications we can upload the data on the blockchain platform like us,” said Srivatsa Sreenivasara, Co-founder and CEO, TraceX Technologies.
He further explained that blockchain technology is providing a business solution to the customers. What’s a customer business solution? – Transparency and traceability in the supply chain and the authenticity that it brings to customers. In the future, a product can also be represented as an NFT (Non-fungible Token), and that token can easily be issued using decentralised technology. Currently, all the transaction in the organic food supply chain is happening in fiat currency, not in crypto. Once the crypto adoption is there, organic food brands could emerge as one of the decentralised products.
Blockchain in tracing and authenticating organic food
A better way to provide trust, transparency, and traceability, without asking for a significant change in their current legacy system or the way they function. Business in the new normal is seeking elements of quality and purity.
“The food we are eating, we have all right to know the source. How is the food getting produced and reaching us? What is the freshness index of the food? We have all the right to ask for the correct documents in our daily lives, and we should have the quickest way to authenticate those transactions. We need the help of emerging technology such as blockchain to help us. We are saving the future hassles at the pre-stage using this technology.” stated organic farm traceability tech entrepreneur, Prabir Mishra, Founder, TRST01.
Blockchain offers security and transparency because of its nature of immutability. That is the primary reason to integrate blockchain to ensure what we eat, where it came from, what its ingredients are, what the journey is, and how fresh the food is.
Ensuring security and quality of organic products
When we think about organic, three things matter, land, package of practice, and processing; everything works together to claim originality and trust. Blockchain bolsters all of these work in sync to produce organic food. And when you have data from the beginning, it provides truth from the seed and input materials to make the organic food or chemical residue-free.
It is mandatory to have traceability for organic food export. India exported 888179.68 Metric Tonne organic produce worth over $1 billion in 2020-21. TraceNet collects, stores, and reports end-to-end tracing on supply chain and data quality entered by the producer or farm agencies and food trust organisations within the organic supply chain in India. In the same line, blockchain-powered firms will boost and ensure the immutability of the organic farm data.
Scanning shelf life of organic food
Blockchain is not only a repository of data to update the database as ingredients change; it also triggers class of service (COS), which gets recorded the shelf life or expiry of organic products. It sends alerts as the expiry date approaches, and we can also enable smart contracts for any products beyond shelf life it will get recalled. That also enables food recall due to some quality issues with cent percent accuracy.